Rumours have been circulating in the housing policy ether for several months now. Given the housing policy influence of the Policy Exchange at No 10 those rumours should have been, and were, treated seriously.
And now it looks like those rumours are well-founded. They’ve only gone and done it. The Conservative manifesto pushes the Policy Exchange line that local authorities should be forced to sell high value properties in order to fund building new properties in lower value areas, and, if elected, they are proposing to extend the Right to Buy to housing associations. This opens up the possibility of an extra 1.3 million households having the chance to buy their home at a discount.
This is supposed to be the Conservatives’ big offer. Although, to be fair, it would seem to be a big offer targeted at a relatively small group of people – housing association tenants who earn enough from stable employment to be able to afford a property which, even at a substantial discount, is going to be a financial stretch.
Despite what some people seem to think, extending the Right to Buy to housing associations is not a new idea. [Read more…]